User Score
9.4

Universal acclaim- based on 1408 Ratings

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  1. Mar 9, 2022
    5
    Pro's

    Great Story Amazing music scores Con's Forced dungeon and raid content for story progression Boring and needlessly tiresome arbitrary duty content Bosses often spam bullet hell style epilepsy inducing spam lines Terrible boss mechanics often having instant death attacks Very harsh for new players Excessive cut scenes after "every" quest completed Exceptionally toxic
    Pro's

    Great Story
    Amazing music scores

    Con's

    Forced dungeon and raid content for story progression
    Boring and needlessly tiresome arbitrary duty content
    Bosses often spam bullet hell style epilepsy inducing spam lines
    Terrible boss mechanics often having instant death attacks
    Very harsh for new players
    Excessive cut scenes after "every" quest completed
    Exceptionally toxic community and fanbase
    Character progression and gearing is TERRIBLE
    Inventory management is horrible often requiring a $2 extra up charge for retainers

    This review is encompassing original ARR and all expansions, This is not a masterpiece, its hyper elevated by a hardcore rabid fanbase who think's SE can do no wrong because it's got the Final Fantasy name in the title, I'm sorry but for new players they need to be told the truth. This game has two sides to be told, one of new players and another for established players and I'll start with the former, for new players it is extremely harsh and unforgiving with barely any handholding, you are expected to join dungeons and raids with no option to skip, you MUST do them to progress the story and you are expected to know the strategies and mechanics otherwise you are most often one shotted, the instant death mechanics slowly get worse as you progress, early ARR mechanics are fairly forgiving but once you hit heavensward the mechanics on bosses ramp up significantly, often having cheesy or heavily scripted mechanics that almost always kill sprouts (new players) and often makes established players groan as it forces them to work much harder and/or write out a script of mechanic tips to help the new player merely survive in an often over the top, bullet hell style line of death spam. Later as you progress, FFXIV becomes merely sitting in a major city doing nothing waiting for a duty queue to pop.

    Another major issue is that your literal progression is directly tied to dungeons and raids, you are at the absolute mercy of other players signing up to do the content you NEED in order to literally progress, sometimes you could be waiting 20 minutes sitting around doing NOTHING, other times it could even be hours especially if its a trial that nobody is signed up for, and especially during off-peak times, this is a disastrous issue that SE ignores and tried to place a bandaid fix with Trust members in Shadowbringers which nobody uses because they suck and makes any dungeon run take 5 times longer than it should, no such luck for trials, eventually once the player population declines to a point that nobody does important story progression content, this game will shed players like a plague because you literally hit a brick wall without anyway shape or form to progress because, as I said before - you are 100% tied to progression via dungeon and raids.

    The content is so overly scripted it literally hurts, especially with bosses that for new players will die frequently until 'ding' they learn the mechanics and suddenly becomes a cakewalk, for higher difficulties like Extreme and Savage, HP becomes practically USELESS for most of the higher end raids because almost every attack one shots and the bosses literally become a game of memorizing where to stand, where to move next and the entire encounters become more of a highly scripted dance, SE overly gimmicks everything and the game suffers for it.

    Another issue is some solo duty content is so dang boring with the content so padded out to consume time by having some bosses have proverbially millions of hit points and have absolutely no skill required, you pretty much spam skills over and over, dodge the bullet hell enemy attack lines and pray you don't mistime a movement and get one-shotted forcing you to start from scratch and repeat mindlessly tiresome and arbitrary content.

    The story is amazing if dragged out to such excessive lengths it becomes a chore sometimes, especially when entering patch content where you are forced to spend days completing unrewarding content just to hit the start of a new expansion and start progressing forward again. Items and character progression is AWFUL, after you finish ARR and head into patch content you'll get a few quests which will immediately raise your IL (Item level) to 'help' new players who didn't raid on previous expansions be viable characters heading into new content, the rewards literally are some of the best for that expansion often making any other rewards kinder redundant and this practice continues with each expansion and post patch content.

    Clearly 5000 characters are not nearly enough to explain all the failures this game has which the community and other reviews completely ignore, this game is literally a love/hate relationship for people who play, YES! you can find some very memorable and inspiring moments here, but it can also be brutal and extremely frustrating, if you are thinking about joining - proceed with caution.
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  2. Dec 26, 2021
    6
    The MSQ story is a mixed bag. Sluggish pacing with long stretches where nothing happens. There is also way too many cutscenes. Felt like I spent more time watching a 20 hour long movie than actually playing the game. Lack of stakes. The ending is a less effective rehash of ShB 5.0's final act.

    The two new jobs: Reaper is fine. Sage is probably the most fun healer to play but that's a
    The MSQ story is a mixed bag. Sluggish pacing with long stretches where nothing happens. There is also way too many cutscenes. Felt like I spent more time watching a 20 hour long movie than actually playing the game. Lack of stakes. The ending is a less effective rehash of ShB 5.0's final act.

    The two new jobs: Reaper is fine. Sage is probably the most fun healer to play but that's a low bar given how bad healers have been since ShB.

    Compared to prior expansions where we got dozens of job questlines, Endwalker only gives us 5 role questlines and 2 job questlines. Sadly, the mantra of "quality > quantity" is not in effect here, as all of the questlines are pretty meh except for the melee DPS role questline and the reaper job questline, both of which are decent (but not great).

    The amount of content FFXIV expansions add has been declining with each release. Endwalker content patches haven't released yet, but going by the downward trend I'm not optimstic. Endwalker already has a noticeable lack in new armor sets, with most of the 6.0 dungeons reusing old sets. One of the 9.0 dungeons also did not get a new theme and instead reuses a year's old boss theme. The game director, Naoki Yoshida, sure likes to talk about how Square is reinvesting its profits back into FFXIV and that it has a bigger budget than ever, but the increasing lack of content we've been getting says otherwise.

    Will update when the expansion is over.
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  3. Jan 8, 2022
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Aside from the server problems, I feel like these 2 years weren’t enough for Endwalker to be what it was supposed to. The amount of reused monster models and recolors of past armors is so grotesque. It’s not really important history-wise, but it feels like sloppiness. Talking about the story, I particularly disliked it. You need to reach the level 96 quest chain for it to finally get interesting, but this is a think I’ve felt for some time in Final Fantasy XIV, it seems like the writers have some trouble setting the pace of the story. It starts extremely slow and boring, it feels like they’re starting to settle ground for the upcoming events, but they could’ve easily done this on post-shadowbringers patches. When we get to Ultima Thule things start to get really strange. I’ve even asked my friends to explain to me, because I thought I missed something, but the hole “let’s sacrifice ourselves” felt weird and unnecessary. I still don’t like it, and for me it felt like it was just for you to feel like you could lose someone, for you to feel the pressure and the weight of the Warrior of Light’s responsibility. In the end, combining the horrendous launch, giant server queues, and the lack of attention to some of the details the team always cared about, it for me that Endwalker was released before it was supposed to. A lot of things that were promised during the Live Letters are always said to be launched “in the near future”. Expand
  4. Dec 11, 2021
    6
    A good end to a long and epic story. Sadly it has serious pacing issues, plot holes, ass pulled solutions, and underdeveloped plot points that end before they properly start. If they had more time, or maybe spent time on polishing these flaws instead of adding so much filler and stupid stealth/tailing mechanics it could have easily been a 9. Shadowbringers prepared the table for a fineA good end to a long and epic story. Sadly it has serious pacing issues, plot holes, ass pulled solutions, and underdeveloped plot points that end before they properly start. If they had more time, or maybe spent time on polishing these flaws instead of adding so much filler and stupid stealth/tailing mechanics it could have easily been a 9. Shadowbringers prepared the table for a fine dinner. Endwalker put a burger on it. A good burger mind you. But i expected much more. The only sadness and tears they managed to get from me is from how i feel they wasted and butchered the great story and characters Shadowbringers prepared. Expand
  5. Dec 14, 2021
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This review will be spoilery.

    First off, this expansion was a beautiful love letter to the prior FFXIV expansions and A Realm Reborn. Lots of exciting new locales to explore including the much awaited Old Sharlayan and the beautifully barren moon with some interestingly colorful facilities run by a few old friends from FF4.

    As always the music is superb from the absurd toybox-esque themes of Labyrinthos, to the gravitas-filled music that accompanies your journey through the latter dungeons, this is Mr. Soken at his finest. There are even several nods to the themes found in FF games of old scattered around.

    As for the plot, this is where things start to unravel. There are definitely strong emotional scenes which are enhanced by the strength of the voice actors employed. Though I found Cid rather jarring to listen to, everyone else does a beautiful job capturing and conveying the tone and emotions in their respective scenes. Many even brought tears to my eyes.

    Unfortunately, the plot is not without flaws. First, we have a big problem to discuss. A Zenos problem. (Second warning, big spoils ahead!) Zenos is a character I neither love nor hate. I can’t be compelled to do either because he only cares about one thing and one thing only. Fighting the WoL. That wouldn’t be a problem if Zenos had any depth of character, but every time he is on screen he does one of two things:

    A) Silently broods while the adults are talking
    B) Talks about getting strong and fighting

    And that’s it. I just can’t care about a character that can’t even be bothered to care about himself. He makes it painfully clear that he has no desire except to keep fighting until his blissful, nihilistic death. Wat? (Apparently he wanted to die so badly that he overcame death in a previous expansion to get strong enough to fight the WoL again so that the fight hopefully kills him.)

    Not only does Zenos’ singular goal persist from his intro two expansions ago, but he’s not given enough screen time to develop any other interesting plot or backstory regarding his presence and defaults back to his standard A/B actions listed above.

    So little did the creators care about Zenos that I think even they forgot he was a part of the plot. When Fandaniel summons Zodiark he initially intended to fight senpai Zenos so that both may embrace their nihilistic death together despite Zenos’ sole fixation with our protagonist. Instead Fandaniel in Zodiark form decides the WoL is a more interesting challenge and ignores Zenos as well. Zenos can’t be bothered to interrupt or intervene and promptly leaves the moon where the battle begins and ends with barely a word about seeking greater power to fight you (option B)

    (END GAME SPOILERS AHEAD)
    The world begins to unravel and the adventure goes uninterrupted by Zenos for the vast majority of the rest of the story. Only to pop back in to say “hey, let’s fight when I get stronger” (option b), a third time to reflect on some scolding Alisaie gives him as he momentarily expands his depth by an entirely new singular thought not his own (option B2?), and then joins the final fight to “help” by letting you ride on his back in Shinryu form while you fight the “final boss”.
    (I actually forgot Zenos was “helping” us in this fight until the end when the camera zoomed out enough to see below the platform. That’s how little I thought about Zenos this whole expansion)

    Top it all off with a heartfelt cutscene with the final boss that’s interrupted by an unnecessary (and uninspired) Zenos fight that kills the entire emotional flow of the ending before you can watch the credits and return home. With interesting mechanics it might’ve been forgivable, but it was an anticlimactic 1v1 fight with a character I wanted to leave behind.

    Zenos aside, the plot had some serious pacing issues with a necessary slow start before getting to the first dungeon, zooming off to light speed with no build up to a fight against Zodiark, in turn feeling anticlimactic for a fight we’ve been building up to for 4 expansions, coupled with some strange changes in tone with no ease between a few ultra serious scenes jumping straight into light hearted comedy. This expansion has so much to love and some beautifully written scenes that suffer from inconsistent direction, pacing, and awkward plot at times with characters that sometimes felt more like plot devices than meaningful beings with agency within their world.

    The lore build up of underlying workings and interaction between Aether and Dynamis seemed like it was being set up for something grand. Real problems to be solved, with a shift in the foundations of the physical principles of the planet continued its unraveling when Zodiark ceased to exist. Instead, the rug was pulled out from under us. In the eleventh hour, a brand new antagonist is introduced that has to be beaten to save the world long after Zodiark was discarded less than half way through the plot.
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  6. Dec 19, 2021
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The story ties up many narrative threads developed over the years. However the penultimate villain/antagonist leaves much to be desired. The overall experience of the launch is also mired by login server stability issues. Expand
  7. Dec 11, 2021
    6
    Great job gameplay, good zones, but rough around the edges with regular quality issues, and that is ignoring the server issues. The story is full of plot holes, jarring transitions, lack of character development, and just bad, tired ideas. Worst story of any expansion. I wouldn't characterize any of the other expansions this way. I see a lot of problems that are unique to endwalker. TheyGreat job gameplay, good zones, but rough around the edges with regular quality issues, and that is ignoring the server issues. The story is full of plot holes, jarring transitions, lack of character development, and just bad, tired ideas. Worst story of any expansion. I wouldn't characterize any of the other expansions this way. I see a lot of problems that are unique to endwalker. They try to paper over the nonsense with fan service, which works sometimes, but sometimes it's obvious that their own fanservice is creating some of the problems in the story telling. Lots of things don't make any sense. You can see the effects of covid on the development because the whole expansion feels like a fan movie created without a director. It feels like people working on their pet projects and just mashed them all into a product at the end without enough oversite to make sure everything goes well together. It's especially pathetic because it's the completion of a very long story and they clearly had a good storyboard concept for the expansion. But in the execution it's just feels like a bunch of bad decisions being made in work silos where there isn't enough supervision. Most will appreciate the fanservice in the story but don't look any deeper because it isn't pretty. I would've quit this game twice because of it's terrible story if it wasn't my MMO of choice, but there is still a lot of good content here if you ignore the story and other issues. Expand
  8. Dec 27, 2021
    7
    Overhyped beyond belief, but still passable for the ones that enjoy the formula

    This being listed as a one of the highest rated games of the year just shows how how hard it is to make a proper meta scorer and how misleading most popular ones can be. The "game" is barely a game at all for a long stretch of its playthrough time. Some 80-90% (and no i'm not exaggerating here) of the
    Overhyped beyond belief, but still passable for the ones that enjoy the formula

    This being listed as a one of the highest rated games of the year just shows how how hard it is to make a proper meta scorer and how misleading most popular ones can be.

    The "game" is barely a game at all for a long stretch of its playthrough time. Some 80-90% (and no i'm not exaggerating here) of the time in this expansion's first playthrough (the main one for the vast majority of people) is reduced to nothing more than WALKING and TALKING to NPCs. No this not just an "usual jrpg" or just the norm for the game (other expansions weren't like this), it's just the first sign of the under developed expansion that Endwalker ended up as.

    This in turn feeds into its horrendous pacing issues, the "game" spends huge amounts of time being uneventful and downright menial and boring and then bombards you with actual content for 1-2 hours before returning to 3-6 hours of vastly menial, mundane or inane content. All of this to say, that just like Shadowbringers, but worse, the overwhelming majority of the expansions drawn out story feels like padding/filler

    The big story points themselves in the second half of the game are filled with holes clearly introduced primarily to an ill thought through time travelling segment that was clearly made so the players could revisit a previous expansion's now dead favorite character.

    There is also just about zero tension as you know the game is incapable of inflicting true damage on its now crystallized main cast, it feels like a child's cartoon for the most part in both how impactful and how seriously you take anything happening in the story.

    Ultimately it'll probably be enjoyable for invested people like me, who has been playing since ARR's beta, but disappointing nonetheless. A 7/10 there if I had to rate it in isolation

    The actual gameplay in this expansion... is just about the same it has been since Stormsblood (the dumbed down version of Heavensward, essentially . The classes are vastly the same, some new spells but the core mechanics are the same or further dumbed down and with bandaid mechanics for the few mistakes you can even still make while playing the game. The lack of customization of both your class and gear specs remains, you're basically always linearly increasing your bland stats ... and that's it. The lack of homogeneity in tanks has been further solidified, yet again. The devs yet again ignored the overwhelming negative feedback on both scholar and DRK and kept the same (so much for the great caring dev team huh?).

    The endgame content, is yet again, basically the exact same with a new skin, the bosses and places' name, models and lore are different but it's still a few level cap dungeons, 4 raid bosses and a couple of trials, the exact same formula from 2014, they still don't have either more raid difficulties nor more bosses, despite earning several times more money from the game. The unwillingness to do anything but keep on the same stagnant cycle seems to be going nowhere.

    In essence for endgame PVE, you either like farming menial, brain numbing dungeons for no reason past the daily roulette, trials (after the first 10 times, they also are brain numbing) for the mounts (which you will get through very quickly) or the progression raid, which the vast majority of semi-dedicated groups will get through in less than a month. And that's it, no mythic+ small team challenging content, no challenging content outside of 4 raid bosses at all really, and you won't get more of it until 8-9 months from now. No meaningful side progression mechanics like you have in WoW in their faction talents or legendary gear. Just linear increases to bland stats like crit, skill speed,etc. That's all that awaits you in endgame

    The dev team successfully indoctrinated the player base into believing and thanking them for releasing less content under the guise of giving players a break , like players would ever be forced to do high difficulty content they don't like , which is the tragic cause of all of this

    PVP is doomed to fail until the day where they finally fix their netcode to eliminate or severely reduce the built in latency , which didn't happen in this expansion, and seems like it never will at this point.

    The only true improvement comes in the form of the best open world area design the game as ever seen. Despite being lackluster in explorability like always, it's a great improvement.

    The music and art style shine above all else as usual. The graphics engine shows it's age, as does the devs laziness with it, with the lack of proper antialiasing dirtying the game, specially in the open world where it creates noticeable and distracting shimmering in sensitive objects like tree leaves and stairs.

    A solid 6.7 overall for the expansion, play it if actually liked playing through the previous expansions or even just the trial. That's all there is, for better or worse.
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  9. Dec 9, 2021
    7
    The story started out slow but definitely picked up later into the MSQ; however, the gameplay during the MSQ is just not fun. This is the first expansion so far that has made me question if I actually enjoy FFXIV and my time would be better spent with a game I enjoy playing. Many of the MSQ quests have you holding the scions hands from point A to point B with no explanation on why you mustThe story started out slow but definitely picked up later into the MSQ; however, the gameplay during the MSQ is just not fun. This is the first expansion so far that has made me question if I actually enjoy FFXIV and my time would be better spent with a game I enjoy playing. Many of the MSQ quests have you holding the scions hands from point A to point B with no explanation on why you must walk and cannot use the Aetherytes. Others have you using stealth, where you'll fail if you're noticed but with no real indication on when you'd be noticed. Too many of these could easily be failed or having you go back to the start, thus wasting your time. I can understand why they made this change, so you felt more immersed and it feels more like a single player game, but to me they missed the mark. I hope they consider people who value their time going forward into future expansions. For context I have played on and off since the FFXIV beta and have always cherished this game and came back to it. I feel that everyone rating this a 10/10 is doing so strictly for the story. Expand
  10. Dec 10, 2021
    7
    Cannot fault the music and design, OST is incredible and the world and dungeon designs surpass anything before, there are some absolutely stunning environments.

    Unfortunately the story leans on 'by the power of friendship!' as reasoning in some plotlines (overcoming obstacles and defeating enemies because you have friends, love and prayers is incredibly lazy writing IMO) and has fan
    Cannot fault the music and design, OST is incredible and the world and dungeon designs surpass anything before, there are some absolutely stunning environments.

    Unfortunately the story leans on 'by the power of friendship!' as reasoning in some plotlines (overcoming obstacles and defeating enemies because you have friends, love and prayers is incredibly lazy writing IMO) and has fan service galore (not always bad).

    Pacing at the start is slow and boring for a while but eventually picks up. Drag along/follow the NPC is not the exciting action packed activity the devs seem to think it as, as they include a countless number of these quests. Also I don't think i'll ever meet a person who thinks a tedious stealth quest is fun or a good addition.

    Its definitely very enjoyable, and undeniably an incredible game overall, but the expansion is not perfect.
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  11. Dec 9, 2021
    5
    The new jobs are fantastic.

    The story has major pacing issues and from a story perspective does not land very well. As a 1.0 player this is probably from a story standpoint the most disappointing expansion of the lot. And it hurts to say because I love FFXIV but sorry this story just...isn't good.
  12. Dec 10, 2021
    6
    A very epic ending to a long standing series. Some of job classes feel very similar to each other, but there's a good many of jobs to choose from. Expansion introduces some good concepts and some equally bad quest concepts. If you've played previous expansions, you'll know what type of content to expect. Unfortunately, their online infrastructure really sucks. You have really long waitA very epic ending to a long standing series. Some of job classes feel very similar to each other, but there's a good many of jobs to choose from. Expansion introduces some good concepts and some equally bad quest concepts. If you've played previous expansions, you'll know what type of content to expect. Unfortunately, their online infrastructure really sucks. You have really long wait queues and many errors that kick you out for no reason causing you wait 3 hours just to sign in again. It would be very enjoyable if the game were playable. I have to constantly look for work arounds just to play this game and it's frustrating when the game doesn't work. Expand
  13. Apr 12, 2022
    6
    Writing etc is top notch, however expansion starts off really slow and there's some really weird "downtime" moments. ShB felt a lot more even storytelling-wise.

    However, much more concerning is the continued "streamlining" of jobs (classes), where jobidentity is quickly being eroded by removing anything that requires even a modicum of skill, while maintaining arbitrary button bloat elsewhere.
  14. Jan 24, 2022
    7
    That whole "hope" thing was bordering on toxic optimism. I wish the game wasn't as black and white. That formula might be appealing to fans of Avengers but not to fans of more mature stories.
  15. Mar 2, 2022
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Okay so before I start I am specifically reviewing Endwalker, not final fantasy 14 as a whole which would be a 9/10 for me. I’d give ARR 7, Heavensward 10, Stormblood 6 and Shadowbringers 9.5...

    So is this the worst expansion? I think it may be, and I have now quit FF14 after almost 3 years. Why am I scoring it low? Mainly the story. We were promised an ending to the arc so far, which in a way we got however this feels far more like a transitional/filler expansion than a satisfying ending. In many ways the story actually makes Shadowbringers worse by undoing some of that games biggest moments.

    I also felt it was too childish. In Heavensward we fought dragons and in Endwalker we go to the moon and fight silly creatures, none of which really matter because everything was created by Ascians who are no longer the Ascians we once knew but pretty, sympathetic boys who look like they belong in kingdom hearts. We get a glowy space dog, a pop song plays for the generic out of nowhere final boss.. it has Disney elements of story and presentation. This does make it perhaps the most ‘box office’ but I preferred the grittier feeling of previous expansions and Endwalker is no longer the game I fell in love with. There’s also barely anything to do at Max level. I might come back to a later patch but right now I’m all FF14’d out and going to enjoy other games instead.

    I do recommend FF14 if you are a new player entirely, there’s so much to do. But Endwalker, didn’t enjoy it. Finish 5.3 Shadowbringers and everything afterwards just feels like optional fan fiction.
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Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 28
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 28
  3. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Mar 28, 2022
    90
    If you didn’t like FFXIV before now, Endwalker will do nothing to change your mind. But if you’re in, this emotional rollercoaster will be rolling towards a satisfying conclusion, that absolutely will not disappoint.
  2. Feb 9, 2022
    95
    FFXIV is currently the best MMORPG available. The main reason is because it’s RPG first, MMO second. The story isn’t just an afterthought, but an integral part of the experience, and everything else revolves around the tale of the Warrior of Light. It’s logical, well-planned, and presented with great, voiced (or not) cut-scenes.
  3. Jan 24, 2022
    95
    Final Fantasy XIV closes its first colossal story arc with an exceptional expansion.